Ingram Micro Cloud has added Microsoft Azure to its cloud marketplace, and is giving channel partners credit when they open an Azure account.
Partners will have £85 to spend on Azure products from the marketplace when they open their first Azure account.
This will run alongside Ingram's current promotions on its cloud marketplace, from which partners can get one month free on their orders, a free Microsoft band, and entry into a prize draw for a £5,000 marketing campaign. The campaigns will run until the end of December.
Azure will be the second IaaS solution on the marketplace, joining IBM's SoftLayer. Microsoft is one of 10 vendors on the marketplace, with over 1,000 services available across the vendors.
Apay Obang-Oyway (pictured right), director of cloud for Northern Europe, said Azure was added because the distie believes IaaS is the "next big thing" in the cloud market.
"The next big thing is IaaS; it is going to be the fastest-growing part of the whole cloud opportunity over the next three years. When you look at the forecasts and the data that is out there, AWS has the largest market share of IaaS. However, the fastest growing over the next few years will be Microsoft Azure," he explained.
"Azure is one of those products that really allows end customers to lift and move their infrastructure to a more modern infrastructure that allows you to deliver business insights, without having to pay the enterprise costs that they are used to."
Obang-Oyway said that partners can now build, choose, provision and manage Azure services through the marketplace.
"It really starts to reduce the complexity," he added. "It's about simplifying the partner's journey to the cloud. Where do I go to build, provision and manage multiple cloud services all from one place? That is what makes our partners' lives easier. It allows them to automate their delivery of services. It allows them to have one general bill, reducing their cost of transaction."
Chris Dunning, CEO of TechQuarters, said that the addition of Azure to the marketplace "needed to happen" because the rest of the Microsoft cloud offerings were already on there.
"It needed to be there, because now you have EMS, 365 and Azure. Instead of going somewhere else for Azure, you get everything all under a one-stop shop. It needed to happen yesterday," he said.
"The most important thing is the portal itself, because it cuts the crap with the customer. It is just one location that we can go to. It speeds up our project guys. It is enabling them to work a lot quicker. Now we can start to create better margins with Azure being on the marketplace. It will allow us to ramp up our figures and create better profit margins on selling it. It means less hassle and not having to repeatedly go back to the customer."
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